Most commercial fishing boats that operate off the Sussex Coast are under 10m in length and operate inshore, usually within six nautical miles (nm) of the coast. These boats land their catch daily. Most of the fleet is multi-purpose, operating throughout the year in pursuit of whichever stock (and or quota) is available during the relevant season. For example, sole are fished in the spring and autumn, bass are targeted in the summer and cod in the winter.
These smaller inshore vessels use a variety of static and mobile gears. Gill, trammel and entangling net fishing takes place widely in the region. Other methods include trawling, beam trawling, pair trawling, drift netting, and scallop and oyster dredging. There is also an important fishery potting for whelk, lobster and brown crab and a cuttlefish trap fishery.